Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nikhil Athreya

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The project involved convex optimization and GPU programming to speed up neuronal simulations. Essentially, given the description of a neuron and/or a neuronal network, the project aims to translate this high level description into something that can be run on a GPU. GPU-bound simulations are on the order of 1000’s of times faster than CPU-bound simulations. This summer, I worked on porting these simulations to Python, where they can be more easily accessed by programmers and streamlining the efficiency of the modeling program.

Christian Ramiro

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Our project’s overarching focus is to detect changes in how we use our lexicon to convey meaning. A previous project touched heavily on how meaning “evolves” for a word over the whole course of its existence (up to Old English!). This summer we are looking into how word meaning changes or transfers during the development of children.

Yuxiao Yu

Autism spectrum disorder has a strong genetic basis. My research contributes to understanding the functions of the genes that are highly associated with autism. Main techniques employed include cloning, CRIPSR-Cas9 system to introduce gene mutation, phenotypical analysis using immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization.

Simon Zhen

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The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the eye refers to a monolayer of cells that are critical for maintaining the health of the photo-receptor cells located in the back of the eye. This summer, my work is focused on performing primary culture of RPE cells. These cells will then be subjected to further studies, including staining (to identify the contents of the cells), etc.

Ruby Sapia

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By evaluating what counts as “food movement” activity, we are able to identify organizations and events engaging with its themes. Additionally, it gives us a framework through which to evaluate in what ways and to what extent farmers and ranchers adhere to similar themes, and whether they use the same language, occupy the same social spaces, or participate in the same dialogues as food movement actors who engage from urban/consumer/intellectual domains. This summer I am primarily focusing on interviewing food movement organizers and thought leaders to explore their perceptions of […]

Arthur Tran

For the summer, I’ve been working on the synthesis of a molecular linker that connects two different drug known as a PROTAC, or proteolysis targeting chimera. One drug at the end of this linker is a thalidomide derivative, which can bind to the E3 ubiquitin ligase cereblon (a protein in the cell that can mark other proteins for degradation). The other drug is a known suppressor of the YAP-TEAD complex in the cell, which is associated with hepatomegaly and tumorigenesis.

Sarah Strochak

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This summer, I have been continuing my work on developing and maintaining a database of annual housing production reports. Every year, cities in California report their housing production on Annual Progress Reports (APRs), as part of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process, a feature of the California state Housing Element Process. By analyzing this data, I hope to develop a way to analyze the rate of reporting across the state, the amount of housing that has been produced, and how this production compares to the goals outlined by the […]

Carolyn Dunlap

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This summer I am working with Cecile Fortuny in the Flannery lab to better understand retinal disease. This summer project is a continuation of the work we have been doing throughout the year to understand how degenerative retinal diseases function and try and model the diseases in mice so that future research and treatment can be conducted. We are also working on designing ways for the treatment of these diseases to be possible and more effective.

Stephanie Gam

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This study employs a number of important methodological features: experimental manipulation of stress, measurement of arousal using psychophysiological parameters, neurocognitive assessment of response inhibition, and behavioral indicators of whether response inhibition deficits translate to real world behavior. Much of the data collection has been completed over the past few semesters, and over the summer the main goal was to organize, clean, and analyze this data. We are hoping this research will fill major gaps in the literature by assessing the extent to which deficits in cognitive control resulting from heightened […]

Dae Woong Ham

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I spent and will spend most of the time finalizing our paper, which will be published soon. I am mainly responsible for doing most of the coding and execution on the statistics part of the project. I have currently done ODE solving, parameter estimation, monte carlo simulations with 95% Confidence Intervals, modeling, and computer simulations.